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Death of William Charles 1898


The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser 4 August

It is with very great regret that we have to announce today the death of M. William Charles Bibby, eldest son of Mr. William Bibby, of Raub, the sad event having been caused by a fall down a winze  in the Rin Lode tin working in Jelebu.

Mr. W.C. Bibby left Singapore on Saturday to proceed to Jelebu in order to direct the laying down of new tin crushing and dressing machinery for the Rin Lode tin workings of the Jelebu Mining and Trading Company. He was, in about a fortnight thereafter, to have returned to Singapore preparatory to going up to Raub, where he was to assume charge of the new gold venture of the South Raub Syndicate, whose concession immediately abuts on the south side of the well-known Raub Concession.

This morning Messrs. Huttenbach Bros., agents of the Jelebu Company received the following telegrams from Mr. Gardner, their manager at the mine in Jelebu:- ‘Jelebu, August 3rd. I regret to inform you that Bibby fell down a winze and is dead.’ Jelebu, August 4th. Bibby fell just as he reached top of the winze. His skull was fractured. Death must have been instantaneous. We are burying Bibby at Seremban today.’

In order to understand the circumstances of this lamentable fatality it should be mentioned that a winze is not the shaft proper, but is a subordinate

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shaft, chiefly for ventilation from a lower level to an upper level, the usual depth between levels being generally about 100 ft.  A windlass worked by hand power might be used if the winze were not completely sunk, and those e engaged would come up by the rope and bucket, holding on and standing with one foot in the bucket, the other being used to fend off in swinging against the sides of the winze.

Mr. W.C. Bibby seems to have just reached the top, and whether through a slip of the foot in stepping on to perhaps the loose planking round the top of the winze, or some other cause, he failed to make good his foothold, and fell back down the winze to the bottom. Death was instantaneous his injuries being of a necessity of a fatal character.”

This sad event must come with a severe shock to his father Mr. Bibby, at Raub, and his brothers and sisters, the entire family being resident there. Mr. Whyte was telegraphed to break the news to Mr. Bibby, Senior, whose health has not been very robust for a while past.

Mr .W .C. Bibby came to Singapore with the original party of miners for Raub under his father’s charge in the year 1889.  Required.

During the arduous years of the earlier history of Raub Mr. W. C. Bibby had chief charge of the engineering work, the laying down of engines, boilers, and pumps, and their transfer to various parts of the workings as might be.

When the fortunes of Raub were at a low ebb in 1892 owing to the flooding of the Raub Hole and confining of work to the then unproductive portions of the Western lode, the writer of this, for five months, had daily opportunities of seeing the work done, and the way in which he had to turn out, often three times in a night to go down the shafts to put the pumps to right, each visit meaning often hours hard work under difficulties, with the water rising on them while at work.

Mr. W. C. Bibby was a quiet un-assuming yet energetic and resourceful man, and his death means really a definite loss to the mining community in the Peninsula. After being for about seven years at Raub he took over charge of the tin mines at Bundi,  in Kemaman, and it was just recently, on ceasing his connection with Bundi, that he was engaged to return to Raub as above mentioned.

Mr. W. C. Bibby was about thirty three years of age, and was unmarried. On Friday last on calling at this office to say good-bye to the writer, he spent some time looking at the sheets of the new map of the Peninsula, and gave some verbal information respecting Kelatan to Singorra, a place he said he desired to revisit. There will be general sympathy with Mr. W. Bibby and his family at Raub in the sad and sudden bereavement they have suffered.

* The map below shows the region of the Negri Sembilan at the time.